SOAS University of London

Department of Religions and Philosophies

Heewon Kim

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Department of Religions and Philosophies

Research Associate

Dr Heewon Kim
Thesis title:
United Progressive Alliance (2004-14), equality of opportunity and Muslims: a paradigm shift or political pragmatism?
Internal Supervisors


Dr. Heewon Kim is a Research Associate in the Department of the Study of Religions. She completed her BA and MA at Sookmyung Women’s University (Seoul, Republic of Korea), and in 2010 joined the Department of Theology at the University of Birmingham to pursue doctoral research. In 2011 she transferred to SOAS following her supervisor’s appointment as Dean. She was awarded a PhD in the Department of the Study of Religions in February 2015. Since November 2014, she has been working as SOAS South Asia Institute’s Notes Blog assistant.



Dr. Heewon Kim is a political scientist specialising in the politics of post-1947 India. Her research focuses on religion and politics in modern India, with particular reference to the post-1947 management of religious diversity, India’s Muslim community, and the post-9/11 state responses to demands from religious minorities for equal opportunities. She has examined these interrelated and overlapping themes in her doctoral research on the United Progressive Alliance government (2004-14) policy-making for religious minorities. This research develops a new framework for better understanding government policies for religious minorities through institutional policy analysis which draws on historical institutionalism, path dependence and the policy process. Institutional policy analysis, it suggests, provides more meaningful insights into understanding recurring cycles of policy failure in this crucial sector of public policy.

Kim’s research interests also include religions and development, communal violence, the role of faith-based organisations in religious conflict, post-conflict reconstruction, and religious nationalism. More broadly, she is interested in the comparative study of religious and ethnic minorities, multiculturalism and equal opportunities in Europe, South Asia, South Korea and Japan.